Writing with Taonga Pūoro: Decolonization of Creative Practice

This year I am undertaking postgraduate research at ARA in Ōtautahi. My subject is the ‘Tikanga of songwriting with Mātauranga Māori’. I am in my final two months of research. Below is the first draft of the creative work for the research. I am about to embark on the second draft. However, I wanted toContinue reading “Writing with Taonga Pūoro: Decolonization of Creative Practice”

Cross-training, really?

I have recently discovered the term ‘cross-training’. This method justifies itself by saying it creates commercial opportunities for the singer. I agree with this. However, it also claims to be a healthy way, perhaps even healthier way, to train the voice. Well…I have worked as a fully professional singer for a few decades. I haveContinue reading “Cross-training, really?”

Buying a voice

Over the last six months, I have observed a number of young singers learning from two singing teachers at once. Often, without the singing teachers agreeing to this or, even worse, being told! This trend is understandable if the teachers complement each other and work together. For example, one teacher is a classical teacher andContinue reading “Buying a voice”

Easy home studio setup for Singer-Songwriter

This summer I have recommenced writing and recording songs by beginning with a simple set up of a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Cloudlifter CL-1, Shure M7B, and MacBook Pro 2020. (Hot Tip: I am finding that writing and recording simultaneously have sped things up. The trick is to record in small units that can be cutContinue reading “Easy home studio setup for Singer-Songwriter”

Exchange of Studio Information

Today’s reading included Richard Miller’s book ‘Solutions for Singers: Tools for Performers and Teachers’. On page 201, Miller addressed a question about the sharing of information between studios. This caught my interest today. It was always a part of my training that teachers and coaches would allow me to record my lessons. I was gratefulContinue reading “Exchange of Studio Information”

Philosophy

In February 2020, while preparing for a lockdown in South Africa, I began a three-year project affectionally named the ‘Lilli Lehmann Project’. This project was inspired by the great German Soprano, Lilli Lehmann. Lehmann wrote several books including a book translated into English as ‘How to Sing’. It was a chance appearance of her bookContinue reading “Philosophy”

Adding to the vocal tool kit – musical theatre

Today’s post discusses and demonstrates some of the singing techniques required when including musical theatre pieces, from the golden age until the present day, in a concert. I am focussing on the singing techniques here. However, to make the transition truly authentic, the singer will need to spend time on accent. The correct accent willContinue reading “Adding to the vocal tool kit – musical theatre”

Sticking your neck out (literally)

The attitude of the pupil, in singing, should be as natural and easy as possible. Mathilde Marchesi, Bel Canto: A theoretical & practical vocal method. Dover Publications, Inc., New York. The image above says it all. Here are two audio examples to demonstrate the importance of the neck position for singing. Example one demonstrates aContinue reading “Sticking your neck out (literally)”

Recommended Reading and Listening: Bel Canto/The Old Italian School of Singing

I have found the following books, manuals and listening to be a ‘pathway’ to studying a way of singing that some refer to as ‘Bel Canto’. Others may refer to it as the ‘Old Italian School of Singing’. Others may describe it as the ‘Italian School of Singing’. (For me, the last description is unreliableContinue reading “Recommended Reading and Listening: Bel Canto/The Old Italian School of Singing”

‘Legit’

Musical Theatre refers to singing in a classical style as ‘legit’. However, it has bothered me for a long time that the classification is too broad. Therefore, I was pleased to read the following in the library today: Legit can be further divided into traditional legit and contemporary legit. Robert Edwin, A Broader Broadway, NATSContinue reading “‘Legit’”